Monday, December 7, 2009

Guilty Pleasures

The Holiday season is usually a time when a bunch of movies are released with their eyes on Oscar nominations. So it seemed really interesting to us that THIS popped up in the Seattle times - a celebration of a series of BAD movies:
'Almost Human: Madonna on Film' Festival celebrate bad acting

The festival, running through Jan. 4 in Seattle, will highlight Madonna's atrocious acting each Monday at Central Cinema. Film introductions and a running commentary will be provided by host and local writer and performer David Schmader.

Call them "guilty pleasures" or just plain bad, many of us have favorite movies that we love to hate or hate to love - movies that we know all the lines to because we've seen them over and over again, but can't seem to get enough of.

So what are the
WORST movies (or movies so BAD that they are somehow...GOOD) out there? The Teen Link blog has got you covered:

Movie Moron's Worst Movies of 2009.
There are some interesting choices on this list, some we agreed with, and some not so much, including a bunch of flix we've never even heard of (i.e. they were so bad they were released for all of a weekend or two before being pulled from the theaters or never even MADE it to the theaters) like "Ace Ventura Jr.", and "Stoic."

There were some familiar names on the Worst list including
"Ruslan" (catch the trailer here), starring the one and only Steven Seagal.

If you're not familiar with him, this could be considered a blessing or a curse: a blessing in how all of his movies are pretty much the same (same plot,
same catchphrases, same bad acting) and how if you've seen one, you've seen them all; a curse in that you're missing out on a spectacle of bad acting, really bad plots, and regurgitated catc hphrases so goofy that you and your friends will be repeating them back and forth to each other like inside jokes for weeks.

The top 10 of Worst of the Worst Movies (2000-2009)
Critics Consensus: Kate Beckinsale is as lovely as ever, and does her best with the material, but moribund pacing and an uninspired plot leave Whiteout in the cold.
Synopsis: Antarctica... The most isolated landmass on Earth 90° S. latitude, zero E. longitude Six million square miles of ice ... [More]
Directed By: Dominic Sena

Glitter (2001)
Critics Consensus: Glitter is a hodgepodge of movie cliches and bad acting that's sure to generate unintentional laughs. Unfortunately, the movie is not bad enough to be good.
Synopsis: Carey plays Billie Frank, a shy, young mixed-race girl who is sent away by her alcoholic mother at a very early age. At an orphanage, she befriends Louise (Da Brat) and Roxanne (Tia Texada), with the help of her cuddly... [More]
Cheaper By the Dozen 2 (2005)
Critics Consens us: A sequel to a remake, Cheaper 2 wastes its solid cast in scenes of over-the-top, predictable humor.
Synopsis: Steve M artin returns as the proud patriarch of the Baker family in this sequel to the original CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN, based on a book by Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine G ilbreth. This time, all twelve Baker kids and... [More]
Directed By: Adam Shankman

Boat Trip (2003 )
Critics Consensus: Boat Trip is a lame, juvenile farce that's heavy on stereotypes and desperate antics but short on brains and laughs.
Synopsis: Hoping to get his mind off his ex-girlfriend Felicia, heart-broken Jerry decides to join his best friend Nick on a tropical singles cruise for a week of sun and possible roman ce. But when Jerry and Nick realize they've... [More]
Directed By: Mort Nathan

Critics Consensus: All About Steve is an oddly creepy, sour film, featuring a heroine so desperate and peculiar that audiences may be more likely to pity than root for her.
Synopsis: Sandra Bullock plays eccentric crossword puzzle constructor Mary Horowitz who, after one short blind date, falls for ha ndsome cable news cameraman S teve (Cooper). Convinced they are soul mates, Mary follows Steve across... [More]
Directed By: Phil Traill

Lost Souls (2000)
Critics Consen sus: Though Kaminski's film is visually stylish, Lost Souls is just another deriv ative entry in the Apocalypse genre, with lackluster direction, unengaging chara cters, and no s cares.
Synopsis: Years ago, priests exorcised a demon out of young Maya Larkin (Winona Ryder). Now she uses her unusual sensitivity to the same demons who once came after her to help the priests in ot her exorcisms. In one such case, a... [More]
Critics Consensus: Incoheren t, silly, and unoriginal, The New Guy offers up the same old teen gross-out comedy cliches.
Synopsis: Teenager Dizzy Harrison (DJ Qualls) is the laughing stock of Texas' Rocky Creek High School. But his loser status changes when he lands a prison sentence and falls under the tutelage of a wild inmate, Luther (Eddie... [More]
Critics Consensus: Choppy logic and uneven performances are overshadowed by not-so-special effects that makes the suspension of disbelief a nearly impossible task.
Synopsis: In A SOUND OF THU NDER, based on a short story by Ray Bradbury, director Peter Hyams (END OF DAYS, TIMECOP) creates a world where time travel is possible and life as we know it is threatened. In the year 2055, Charles... [More]
Critics Consensus: A poorly constructed, derivative sci-fi stinker with a weak script and poor action sequences.
Synopsis: In sci-fi thriller BABYLON A.D., Vin Diesel's Toorop is an antihero who quotes the best of cinema's bad boys from films such as THE GODFATHER and SCARFACE. But all the tattooed muscleman really wants to do is leave... [More]
Directed By: Mathieu Kassovitz

Surviving Christmas (2004)
Critics Consensus: Surviving Christmas is unpleasant characters attacking each other for 90 minutes before delivering a typical, hollow anti-consumerist message
Synopsis: Academy Award® winner Ben Affleck ("Good Will Hunting"), Emmy winner James Gandolfini (TV’s "The Sopranos") and Christina Applegate ("View From the Top," TV’s "Married With Children") star in the comedy "Surviving... [More]
Directed By: Mike Mitchell

Holiday Movies And if you're in the mood for a good movie, here's a Holiday Movie guide put together by Fandango. Most of these movies have already been released and have got alot of buzz around them like the latest Twilight movie "New Moon", "Brothers", and "2012".

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sexting and Cyberbullying

Sexting is the act of sending sexually explicit messages or photos electronically, primarily between cell phones.

Cyberbullying is when when the Internet, cell phones or other devices are used to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person.

Most folks don't think about spreading gossip online or sending pictures via cellphone is a big deal. But one website dedicated to cyberbullying cites an old fable as a metaphor for understanding it a little better. (Click HERE to watch) It compares the gossip to feathers and spreading the gossip is similar to the wind blowing it away. The message: once you put it out there, it's not in your control anymore.

And the things that are said/posted on the internet are not just public, but also PERMANENT. A few years ago, rumors would fade over time, but one something is posted online, all it takes is a "click" for it to be found again. This can have devastating effects that no one could have predicted, like the tragic story of Hope Witsell, who committed suicide earlier this year. Read her story HERE.

More stories of cyberbullying that have made the news - Click HERE.

Here are a couple videos from the website cited earlier with actual stories about cyberbullying and sexting from the teens affected by it first hand.

"teen regrets what he said online about girls"

"cyber bullying – friendship lost"

Safe Sexting - NO Such Thing:

Things to consider BEFORE even thinking about "sexting" (whether the pic is of you, is sent to you or is forwarded by you)

  • This is currently considered child pornography and if caught you will be listed as a sex offender. FOR LIFE.
  • Once sent, it's PERMANENT. It cannot be taken back and cannot be deleted and can end up in ANYONE'S hands.
  • Is flirting REALLY worth possible public humiliation or damaging your future?

Tips to keep your passwords safe:

Some tips for keeping your cellphone safe:

One of the smartest mentioned – lock your keypad. It might seem like an inconvenience, BUT it will prevent anyone from picking up your phone and accessing your info, and you can still answer calls without having to unlock it. (also prevents random pocket dialing)

Cyberbullying and the law:

Two bills currently in talks right now propose different takes on how to handle cyberbullying. One wants to criminalize it and the other focuses on educating parents and teachers. Neither one is perfect, but the point is that lawmakers are taking this stuff seriously, so everyone should probably do so as well. Read more here.

So whatever you decide to do, make sure you're thinking about the consequences of your actions BEFORE engaging in these behaviors!

If laws are being put into effect, then consequences are soon to follow –like in THIS scenario where a Facebook comment got a student suspended.

So whatever you decide to do, make sure you're thinking about the consequences of your actions before engaging in this behavior!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Day of Thanks

Considering that Teen Link loves food, here is a little insight into the day of feasting!


Many people believe what they learned in elementary school about Thanksgiving Day. Basically, the Pilgrims and the Indians shared a big feast with all the food we eat on Thanksgiving. According to the journal of Plymouth Colony's governor, Edward Winslow, the colonists met with Chief Massasoit and 90 of his men for a feast that lasted four days. So there was a feast, but what was on their menu? In this journal the only items mentioned are venison and wild fowl.

Yum! It is never unlikely, according to historians and archeologists, that the meal was prepared with all of the foods we eat today. Another idea is that the Pilgrims and the Indians sat down and prayed and passed the food around. Since the feast was four days long this is not what happened at all. It was not a ceremonious feast and people would just go eat when they were hungry. Plates and utensils were not used. They all ate with their hands with an occasional napkin. The clothing is very mythical too. Pilgrims did not wear black and white on the first Thanksgiving.

They wore brown, green, black, white, and beige. The Indians were fully clothed because it was November in Massachusetts. Although Thanksgiving is full of myths the value of generosity and being thankful has been kept alive.


Everyone loves the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. How did it all start? Well, it started in 1924 by the employees of Macy’s. These employees were the first-generation immigrants and they wanted to celebrate their new American pride through a traditional European festival. The first parade started with the employees marching from 145th street to 34th street dressed as clowns, sheiks, cowboys, and knights. There were also 25 live animals from the Central Park Zoo, floats, and professional bands.

The first balloons appeared in 1927 with Felix the Cat:

One of the old traditions was that after the parade they would release the balloons and whoever found and caught it got a prize. Although in the 1930’s the Great Depression occurred, the parade grew and grew. The parade however stopped in the early 1940’s during WWII when there appeared to be nothing to celebrate. In 1945, the parade started up again, was televised, and the route that is used today started that year as well. This Thanksgiving tradition is nationwide and will be around for years to come.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Teen Link

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Because it was just one of those weeks...

Here are some silly, some random and some fun lists, images etc. to make the time go by a little bit faster. has compiled a HUGE collection of random lists - here are a few worth looking at:

12 of the W
eirdest Shoes EVER
Halloween's over - who's got crappy candy they can't get rid of?

Top Ten Worst Halloween Treats (Good N' Plenty? BLECH!!)

Top Ten Weird & Wonderful Animals

1. Pink Dolphin

The world's only pink Bottlenose was discovered in an inland lake in Louisiana, USA.

2. Man faced fish

Bred in a pond near Seoul in 2005, this odd looking fish is hybrid of a carp and a leather carp and appears to have a 'human' face.

3. Zorse

Whereas 'normal' zorses, a cross between a zebra and a horse, have stripes across their whole body, this particular one named Eclyse has strange patches of stripes and pure white. The white comes from her horse mother 'Eclipse', whilst her stripes come from her zebra father 'Ulyssses'.

4. The Blob Fish

This fish is found in the deep waters off Australia. It is a gelatinous mass that very much looks like a 'blob'.

5. Two headed snake

This snake named "We'' lived for 8 years in the world Aquarium in St. Louis, USA.

7. Angora rabbit

The Angora is one of the oldest types of domestic rabbit, originating in Turkey. The rabbit has the appearance of a big fluffball and was popular with French royalty in the mid 1700s.

8. Thorny Devil

The Thorny Devil is an Australian lizard. It grows up to eight inches and can live for up to 20 years and has a spectacular appearance, owing to its camouflaging shades of desert browns and tans and conical spines that cover it.

9. Star Nosed Mole

The Star Nosed Mole is found in Canada and North America. Its incredibly sensitive nose is

covered with minute touch receptors.

10. Leopon

The Leopon is the result of breeding a male leopard with a female lion. The head of the animal is ordinarily similar to that of a lion, while the rest of the body normally resembles that of a leopard.

And Finally, an array of cute and peaceful:

Friday, November 6, 2009

Can You Taste the Colors?

What if whenever you said the word 'jump' you instantly tasted pumpkin pie? Or you believed all of the letters of the alphabet had designated colors (letter 'A' was aqua-marine, B lime green, C yellow, etc.)? Or whenever you saw the color pink you automatically smelled chlorine? Those experiences can be a reality for the estimated 1 in 23 people in the population have what's called synesthesia.

What is synesthesia you might ask? Good question. We think this definition sums it up pretty well. "Synesthesia is a neurological based phenomenon. It is when the stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. People who report such experiences are known as synesthetes" (The Health Journals 1).

Synesthetes differ in the associations each has. While some associate colors with various letters of the alphabet or taste something in his or her mouth after hearing a certain word, some synesthetes also see colors when they hear music. Additionally, some say that numbers have genders and personalities. For example, the letter 4 might be a loud and exhuberant female, while the letter 7 is a quiet and reserved male. Interesting, huh?
Synesthesia has been researched since the 1800s. It typically runs in families, and is estimated to affect approximately 4% of the population. Additionally some individuals report synthetic experiences after a seizure or stroke.

The majority of scientists agree that synesthesia is due to "cross-talk" of the brain, or when different parts of the brain interact. Here's an explanation from The Health Journals online:
"...regions involved in naming letters are adjacent to the area involved in color processing; synesthesia may be the result of cross-activation between these two areas. Recent research shows marked differences in the brains of synesthetes and the general population. Synesthetes have higher levels of connectivity between the fusiform gyrus (part of the temporal lobe, the area that controls processing and color information as well as word and number recognition) and the frontal cortex. Scientists hypothesize that this 'cross-wiring' occurs when the nerve wiring that is usually contained within one sensory system crosses into another system."
As children, many synthesthetes find it odd that classmates don't understand when he or she insists perhaps, that the color G is cranberry-red. Such is the case in A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass. It's a fictionous novel, but a pretty accurate and interesting read about a 13-year-old girl's experiences with synesthesia.

Artist Carol Steen described her own personal experiences with synesthesia. As she says, "There have been times when I have had one sensation such as toothache and observed the color of the pain, its taste and smell. All these synaesthetic perceptions are aspects of one overall experience. I perceive them as related in the same way that windows, a door and front steps combine to become the image of a house." She has also said, like many other synesthetes, that her synesthesia has been very beneficial in relation to her art.

After getting acupuncture, Carol described the synaesthetic experiences she had during her session. She later used these experiences as inspiration for the coloring of a new painting. "Lying there, I watched the black background become pierced by a bright red colour that began to form in the middle of the rich velvet blackness. The red began as a small dot of colour and grew quite large rather quickly, chasing much of the blackness away. I saw green shapes appear in the midst of the red color and move around the red and black fields."

There are many other synaesthetic artists like Carol, such as painter David Hockney, writer Vladimir Nabokov and composer Olivier Messiaen.

In addition to artistic benefits, many synesthetes also claim synesthesia benefits their memory; the idea of color, for example gives them an additional way to help remember facts.

Interesting phenomenon, huh? If you're interested to learning more, you can check out our sources below. Also, the book mentioned above, A Mango Shaped Space by Wendy Mass is a good read.


Another good source is the American Synesthesia Association. Their website is:

The Birds and Bees for '09

Teen Link receives questions regarding teens and sex ALL the time. Lots of "What if...?" questions, "What does it mean if...?" questions and "Is it normal...?" questions. And of course it makes sense that you would have a ton of questions - sex is EVERYWHERE these days. Between explicit images on TV and everything that seems to be on the internet, kids are becoming young adults faster and sooner than ever before. Add raging hormones to the mix and it makes perfect sense that teens want to know how all this "sex" stuff works.

But are the questions being asked? And if so, are they getting answered?'s webpage Teen Advice says, " scares us how much some sexually active teens DON’T know about sex, pregnancy and STDs. Silly or not some of these questions get asked so often that it makes us believe they are sincere."

Questions like:
  • Can i get pregnant the first time i have sex?
  • If a guy is a virgin can he get me pregnant?
  • Can a girl get pregnant from oral sex?
  • Are two condoms better protection from STD's?
Some of these questions being asked online are due to the fact that many parents don't have the first clue of how to have "the talk" with their kids (nothing against parents - kids don't come with an instructional manual after all). "Sometimes parents are fearful about saying too much too soon (although there's no evidence that this should be a concern). Some parents feel they don't know enough to be a reliable source of accurate information.

But when teens don't get the full picture from their parents (or even worse, NO picture at all), they'll seek the answers elsewhere - typically from their friends, who are in the same boat as they are.

Sex-ed Programs in schools can provide a lot of really helpful information (like clearing up the questions above - although there is still a great deal of controversy around what's okay to teach and what's not) but other questions like "How to know when you're ready for sex?" and "How to talk to your partner about sex?" tend to go unanswered, and yes or no answers and statistics aren't enough to help teens make responsible decisions that work for them.

SO, if you, your partner, or your friends have questions about sex in general or about sex in regards to your relationship, please give Teen Link (anonymous, confidential and non-judgmental: 1-866-833-6546) a call. But, if talking to someone is still intimidating or awkward for you, here are some really great sites that have real answers for today' questions:

Been around for 10+ years, dealing with sex, sexuality, and pretty much everything in between
Sex education for teens, by teens - on a large variety of issues beyond just STDs
Facts on dating, pregnancy, STDs and getting tested